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Under Pressure to Change: How Health Care Benefits Can Deliver In Employee Recruiting and Retention

March 13, 2019

With a tight labor market and fierce competition for top-end talent, employers are under pressure to develop benefits packages that are both a recruiting asset and an avenue for improving the health and wellness of employees.

A recent Wall Street Journal article examined the steps employers are taking to advance their health care benefits portfolios. Did you know that annual employee health benefits cost Starbucks more than coffee beans and that General Motors spends more on them than on steel?

The outlay companies are making in the health and wellness of their employees is more than a budget line item; it is an investment in better productivity and long-term cost savings. And it is more than just reducing physical injuries; it also includes addressing stressful work conditions.

Consider these statistics:

  • A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report indicated that stress is the leading workplace health problem and contributor to turnover, absenteeism and productivity losses.
  • According to U.K. government statistics, more than half of the country’s working days lost to ill health in 2017-2018 were caused by stress, depression or anxiety.
  • An article in Management Science found that workplace stress contributed $190 billion in excess costs to employers.

Millennials: What Makes Them Tick When It Comes to Health Care?

By 2025, millennials will make up 75 percent of the workforce, according to Forbes magazine. Attracting and retaining millennials is a challenge facing many businesses today. This commanding portion of the workforce will continue to drive the behavior of business owners when it comes to tailoring their approach to finding and hiring quality employees.

A common misconception is that health care is not an important benefit to millennials. According to a survey from Fit Small Business, a publication targeting small business owners, health care benefits are very important to the millennial cohort.

The survey revealed that 27 percent of millennials don’t go to the doctor because they want to avoid the costs, and 50 percent have received a medical bill that they had not budgeted for.

When it came to selecting where to seek health care, millennials broke from previous generations. A recent survey found that 34 percent of millennials prefer retail clinics and 25 percent prefer acute care clinics – double that of baby boomers and seniors. On the flip side, seniors and boomers were more likely to visit their primary care physician than millennials (61 percent).

Enlightened business owners and HR managers alike are exploring various approaches to creating not just a work environment, but a lifestyle setting that appeals to today’s workforce as well as promotes health and well-being.

Identifying annual health care and well-being initiatives is part of a strong health plan that brings:

  • Better productivity – employees are healthy and happy at work
  • Better bottom line – fewer lost opportunity costs

There are many pieces to a health care package, among them: medical, dental, vision, short-term disability, long-term and life, accidental death, cancer coverages and more. The costs generally represent a top three expense to the bottom line, so creating a three- to five-year plan to control costs is essential.

Good health care and insurance offerings can go a long way toward attracting talent of all ages. On its own, access to quality primary care puts an even higher value on the overall experience for individuals and families. With health care costs on the rise, an increasing number of employers are turning to employer-sponsored direct primary care solutions. These offer accessibility, convenience, and employee affordability through on-site or near-site health clinics that offer basic preventive and primary care, along with further benefits such as 24/7 call access and more.

Overall, to address the evolving needs of each generation, and make their workplace one of one choice for generations to come, employers need to continue their pivot from general and health and wellness to overall well-being, including work/life balance.  In addition, keeping up with the integration of new technologies, programs, and innovations, will help them operate in the real-time world their employees demand, whether it be through mobile access, holistic experiences or personalized support.

The Oswald Solution

The rising cost of benefits and lack of transparency in health care is a major problem. Businesses simply can’t justify the price.

Oswald provides their clients with the turn-key solutions and resources needed to properly manage a health care plan expertly from start to finish. Our extensive background in managing health care benefits lets HR staffs and management focus on growing their business, not getting bogged down in process.

In addition, the aforementioned exclusive Primary Care Centers are rising in popularity and address many of the changing needs of health care.

If you are you looking to be proactive and offer healthcare benefits that address your employees’ total healthcare needs, talk with Oswald for solutions that can take the pressure off you and your employees, and lead to a healthier, more productive work environment.

CLICK HERE to learn more about Oswald’s Employee Benefits Solutions.

For more information, contact:
William Grebenc
Employee Benefits Advisor

(Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Fortune, Benefit News, CNBC, Kaiser Permanente)

Note: This communication is for informational purposes only. Although every reasonable effort is made to present current and accurate information, Oswald makes no guarantees of any kind and cannot be held liable for any outdated or incorrect information. View our communications policy.